i knew nothing about star wars before seeing “the force awakens”, but fuck yeah, rey.
2015 has been an interesting (worrisome? rejoiceful?) year for American women. We have seen congress attack Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive rights over and over again. Women started making noise and pressing charges about their experience of rape at universities, in the porn industry, and from Bill Cosby. We’ve been introduced to the idea of mandatory and paid maternity leave. Women still make 77 cents to the dollar. All these examples show that there is still a need to work towards equality for women’s rights. But I think we’re starting to make stride.
What has made me hopeful about feminism and the future? The Music Scene.
Where I have seen a dramatic change for women is within the music scene. 2015 was a great year to be a female musician. I played so many shows this year which had other female musicians on the bill, and believe me, this is a triumphant leap. The beginning years of playing in A Fire With Friends always made me feel like a somewhat outsider, like that I was supposed to be the token girl piano player role. AFWF as bandmates never made me feel like this, but shows did. And pictures did. Because for press releases and stuff like that the photographer would want me to be in the middle, even though I’m not the songwriter or singer or guitarist, but because I was the girl in the band. And that’s stupid.
Pity Party, my band that happens to be all girls, has warmly been received as simply a band. We’ve been lucky enough to play really cool fun shows and none of it had to do with us being ladies. No one thinks we’re hot, or at least they don’t tell us this, and that’s a good thing. Because we wanna make music, just like everyone else. We don’t wanna be sexualized or judged. We just wanna play our songs and have fun. Being in a band has been a boys club for a very long time, and it feels good to finally feel welcomed.
Music aside, there have been lots of kick ass ladies making changes in how women are perceived in the world. Here are some of my Women Crushes from this year.
Women Crushes of 2015 (in no ranking order)
- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Notorious RGB, as she has been affectionately called in the title of one of the years New York Times Best Seller, has found herself recognized as a great influence for a new wave of millennial feminism. Her support for SCOTUS’ decision on same-sex marriage and upholding ACA will go down in history.
i think broad city changed my life. seriously.
2. Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson
The creators of Broad City continued to produce a fucking great show that demonstrates what it’s like to be a millennial woman in 2015. And it’s not a thing. It’s not a girl show, even though I’m sure people probably assume it is. It’s a fucking really funny show.
senator elizabeth warren
3. Elizabeth Warren
The MA Senator has continued to kick ass this year by defending planned parenthood and holding big banks and Wall Street accountable.
amy schumer, the goddess
4. Amy Schumer
One of the funniest comedians. Continues to speak out about breaking gender norms and women’s issues.
symone sanders, senator bernie sanders’ press secretary
5. Symone Sanders-
Bernie Sanders’ (no relation) press secretary. She has done a lot in her mere 25 years. Before coming to Sanders’ campaign she worked for Ralph Nader. She sits on the board of the National Campaign for Juvenile Justice which is close to my heart.
thank gawd for ana on TYT
6. Ana Kasperian
The Young Turks journalist and contributing writer for rawstory.com has continued to bring meaningful news to the network.
i’m so grateful to have been introduced to emily bazelon this year
7. Emily Bazelon
The New York Magazine writer and Slate Political Gab Fest co-host is one of the most brilliant, and most human writers that I’ve come to admire this year.
you used to call me on your cellular device
8. Erykah Badu
Put out one of my favorite albums of 2015. The concept is brilliant, she’s so fucking talented, and production is out of this world.
Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby
9. Marilyn Mosby
Maryland’s State Attorney who oversaw the Freddie Gray murder case. She gave an extremely moving speech when she announced the charges, signifying that systematic racism is real and is killing people.
trailblazer dr. haifa al-hababi
- Dr Haifa al-Hababi
The first woman candidate to run for office in Saudi Arabia. What a freaking big deal. By her example, 19 women were elected to municipal seats in Saudia Arabia this year. Also, she is a social worker.
Hope for 2016
I believe that 2016 will be a monumental election for our generation. I am a supporter of Bernie Sanders who has fought for woman’s rights. If Hilary wins, she will help little girls across American dream that they can be president.
I know there is talk of more Girls’ Nights in Scranton, which is an amazing open mic for women musicians, comics, poets, artists, etc. This is so important, and I’m grateful for Jess Meoni for organizing this (no. 11 woman crush). If I had a place to feel comfortable and debut my songs at 19 years old I know I would be much more confident in life in general. I know I wouldn’t have waited until I was 25 to gather up the courage to show my songs to anyone. The visibility of creative and smart women is what inspires me most, and I’m excited to see what we all can create in the next year.
I also know that there are going to be more open conversations at Marywood University about feminism. The first forum back in November had a great turnout and great discussion. I hope this continues to grow.
All in all, we’re moving in the right direction and we’re picking up steam. It’s not so much of a dirty word to use the word “feminism” and more and more people are starting to see that feminism is just equality. And that’s all that anyone wants anyways, right?
Oh and period panties are a thing. That’s a sign if I’ve ever seen one.
2015 was pretty okay for ladies